In one of the penitentiaries of the United States, there is a man serving a sentence for a crime. This man had a good mother who not only prayed for him, but did everything she could to get him to accept Christ as his Saviour. Many of his friends had gone to see him, including ministers of the Gospel, pleading with him to turn from his evil way, but his heart was hardened against all the pleadings of his friends. At last, his mother went to the Governor of the State, asking him if he could not pardon her son. So the Governor, dressed in a ministerial garb, went to this man's cell and spent a long time with him, pleading with him to turn from his evil way, accept Christ as his Saviour and start a life of freedom from sin, even though not free from the law. Not knowing that he was talking to the Governor of the State, he did as he had done before. He turned a deaf ear to all the pleadings of the Governor. Being asked by the warden if he knew who he had been talking to, he said, "No." When he was told that he had been talking to the Governor, he simply said, "He wanted to help me, but I would not let him." —Evangel Herald.
"Two men looked through prison bars; one saw mud, the other saw stars!" This is well exemplified in the history of Lot and Abram. Lot looked around with an eye to earthly advantage, and he got it, but — ! His was a downward look. What a contrast in verse 14 with its wonderful "after that"! Now God steps in, — God who had been quietly watching those two men, waiting to see what they would do; who saw the generous hearted Abram giving up his rights, letting Lot choose the best for himself. But we never lose by taking back seats!—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
Then came a period in the pastorate, and once more I propose to indulge in a personal reminiscence of a sacred nature. Soon after I had settled as a minister of the Church, in Stone, and success as to increasing congregations was evident, I went home one Sunday night and had to face a challenging question. I heard no articulate voice, but the question came with clarity, "What are you going to be, a great preacher or My messenger?" I fought the question on the assumption that I might be both. At last, however, I decided that above everything else, I desired to be the messenger of God. I declare, without hesitation, that from that day in 1900 until now I have cared nothing about reputation as a preacher. I have cared greatly about being His messenger.—The Gospel Herald.
The Lord spoke to my heart one day
Saying, "Child, you need to pray—
There's special work for you to do,
Fields are white and laborers are few."
At first I did not heed the call;
The work, to me, looked very small.
So God gave another man my work
And blessed him in the task I shirked.
I saw the thing that God had done,
The precious souls another won;
So penitent I went to Him
And pled forgiveness of my sin.
He hearkened to my pleading voice,
But gave to me His second choice;
And now His will I do obey,
But oft remember yesterday.—E. L. Burges.
It is said if you take one of a migratory flock of birds out of the line which the God-given instinct has formed and is guiding to its distant home, and place it behind iron bars, it will beat its wings against the cage in its frantic efforts to rise and go on its journey. But let the season pass in which birds migrate, then open the cage; your bird will not go now. You may take it into your hand and toss it high into the air; it will be of no use; the instinct for motion has passed; the bird returns heavily to the same spot. So decisions for Christ may be delayed until there is no desire to be His.—The Elim Evangel.
Julitta, a noble lady in the third century, known to be a Christian, was despoiled of her property by one of the Roman emperor's officers. In seeking redress before the judges, her right was denied, and even protection and life, unless she would worship idols and renounce her Christian faith. Hearing the decision of the judge, she said, "Farewell, life; welcome, death: farewell, riches; welcome, poverty. All that I have, were it a thousand times more, I would rather lose than speak one wicked and blasphemous word against God my Creator. I yield thee most hearty thanks, 0 my God, for this gift of Thy free grace, that I can contemn and despise this frail and transitory world, esteeming Christian profession above all treasures."
Her friends urged her to change her mind, but in vain. She was condemned and led to execution. Addressing the spectators from the place of suffering, among other things, she said, "0 sisters, labor after true piety and godliness. Be weary, my sisters, of a life led in darkness, and honor Christ, my God, my Redeemer, my Comforter, who is the true Light of the world. Persuade yourselves—or, rather may the Spirit of the living God persuade you—that there is a world to come, wherein the worshipers and servants of the most high God shall be crowned eternally."—Glad Tidings.
He came to the crossroads all alone,
With the sunrise in his face;
He had no fear of the path unknown—
He was set for an ambitious race.
The road stretched east, and the road stretched west:
The "Signboard" showed which way was the best;
But the boy turned wrong and went on down,
And lost the race and the victor's crown,
And fell at last into an ugly snare—
By choosing the wrong at the crossroads there.
Another boy on another day,
At the selfsame crossroads stood:
He paused a moment to choose the way
Which would lead to the greater good.
The road stretched east, and the road stretched west,
But the "Signboard" showed him which way was best.
And the boy turned right and went on and on;
He won the race and the victor's crown.
And came at last to the Mansions fair—
For choosing right at the crossroads there.—Selected.